Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This morning, we have the Ten Commandments. Not always a popular topic for a sermon, I know. But what I want us to look at first is the beginning of our reading, from chapter 19 of Exodus. What we read here is that God has saved the people and taken them out of Egypt, borne them on eagle’s wings, brought them out safely through the Red Sea. And God wants to make a covenant with them.
When Moses brings God’s Word to them, the people respond with a resounding “YES!” But they haven’t even heard the details of the covenant yet! When I was buying my first car, my father told me, “Always read the fine print! Don’t agree to something you haven’t read!” But because God has saved them from slavery, and has promised them a land of their own, they are willing to enter this covenant.
I think they kind of missed the part that they are, again as we saw before with Abraham, blessed to be a blessing. God says, “All the world is mine. And you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.” The rest of the world is not forgotten, and will benefit from this covenant. What is interesting to me is the short passage from Matthew’s Gospel, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill. And Jesus goes on to say, “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is telling his disciples, and us… this covenant that the Israelites have with God is our covenant too. So, when we read the rest of our reading from Exodus, the covenant God has with God’s people, we are called to live a covenant life, following as best we can God’s call to be a holy people. We, too, are blessed to be a blessing, with all the responsibility that comes with it.
Through Jesus Christ, this covenant is renewed with all its blessings and its call to live as people of God. We are called to share God’s love with others through what we say and do, and how we care for each other and all creation. It sounds like an impossible task, but we are not alone in this call. God calls all people to love one another, as God loves us. And when we are living in this way, even with all our mistakes, people will see our actions and see God’s love through all we say and do. Amen.